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Homeless outreach teams

Law enforcement officers, often working as a specialized team with social workers and housing system partners, engage people experiencing homelessness in the community and respond to homelessness-related calls for service in an effort to connect them to housing and other services.

For more information on this intervention, see this resource:
Local Examples

Harris County, TX Houston Police Department (HPD)

  • HPD officers partner with staff from The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD's Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program to create the Homeless Outreach Team (HOT).
  • HOT provides outreach and linkage to services for people experiencing homelessness in Houston.
  • The team partners with community-based organizations to connect people to services, which include housing, medical care, and mental health treatment.
For more information on this example, see these resources:

Salt Lake County, UT Salt Lake City Police Department

  • The Homeless Outreach Service Team (HOST) connects people experiencing homelessness to social services and resources.
  • The team was developed through a partnership between the police department and homeless service providers.
  • The two HOST officers work in the same office as Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officers and assist with mental health cases and calls for services, among other responsibilities.
For more information on this example, see these resources:



1 - Reduce bookings into jail
3 - Increase connection to treatment